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Bill and Ted Face the Music brought back a pair of iconic movie characters for the first time in nearly three decades. While fans were certainly happy to see them again, the most fascinating question of Face the Music may have been just how do characters like Bill and Ted change over the course of 30 years? One of the ways that change manifested on screen was in the wardrobe of Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves. And Keanu had a pretty wild idea for what an older Ted might be wearing these days.
I had the opportunity to talk with Bill and Ted Face the Music costume designer Jennifer Starzyk, and she told me that, since nobody understood Bill and Ted like Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, she very much wanted their input for how their grown-up characters would dress. It seems that when she first spoke with Keanu Reeves about his ideas, Keanu's first thought was that Ted should wear a kilt, though by the next time they spoke, Reeves and reconsidered into something a little more traditional. According to Starzyk...
At first, he didn't know if he wanted to be very zany. He was like 'maybe I'll wear a kilt.' And everybody was like, yeah, wear a kilt.' The next time we met, like a week later he was like, 'I think I want to wear a suit' which took everyone off guard. But for me I think that's part of the fun of costumes because it's ok, why does he want to wear a suit and what's the right kind of suit and where can we go from there.
A kilt certainly would have been an "out of left field" sort of choice, but at the same time, How often does an actor have an excuse to wear a kilt in a movie, and honestly, would anybody have been that shocked, if Ted "Theodore" Logan just wore a kilt now? Honestly, this is Keanu Reeves and I'm pretty sure that if he just showed up in Bill and Ted Face the Music in a kilt, a lot of people would just start wearing kilts.
And certainly, a kilt would have shown an evolution of sorts for Ted, which was something that both Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter wanted for their characters. It was important to them that their characters, and by extension, their wardrobe, show that Bill and Ted had grown and changed in the years since the last film. As Jennifer Starzyk explained...
Both of them did not want to be stuck in arrested development. They did not want to pick up where they left off. 30 years has passed, in general, like, they're 30 years older. You had to respect that passage of time.
Certainly, whether in a suit or a kilt, Keanu Reeves does show the passage of time for Ted, so that much was a success. Certainly, nobody is going to confuse Ted for John Wick, even if they both wear suits.
Bill and Ted Face the Music is available on VOD now.